Crews battle wildland fire on Stanford property

Investigators to look into whether blaze is related to Monday's lightning

Crews worked to extinguish a 1- to 2-acre wildland fire on Stanford University property Tuesday afternoon, a Palo Alto fire official said.

The blaze burned in an area away from streets off of Arastradero Road, above Felt Lake and past the parking lot to Arastradero Preserve, Palo Alto Deputy Fire Chief Catherine Capriles said.

A member of the Portola Pastures, a horse stable, noticed a whiff of smoke in the area and reported the fire sometime between 2:30 and 2:45 p.m., she said.

As of 3:15 p.m., the fire remained active and no injuries were reported, Capriles said. The fire was slowly spreading, but didn't appear to extend past 2 acres. Horses grazing in the area were removed by Portola Pastures staff, she said.

Capriles said at 5 p.m. that crews were mopping up and staying on scene to keep an eye on the area. The fire had spread from grassland into eucalyptus trees.

The cause of the fire was not clear, she said. The fire is possibly related to lightning strikes from Monday night that could have caused the grass to smolder, she said. Investigators were still looking into the cause of the blaze.

Aircraft crews battling the Skeggs Fire in San Mateo County diverted to the fire on Stanford property and assisted in the initial attack, according to a tweet from the Fire Department.

Los Altos Hills city officials warned residents of the fire in a Nixle alert, but advised that it didn't appear to threaten the town.

Additional crews from the Woodside Fire Protection District, Santa Clara County Fire Department and Cal Fire assisted the Palo Alto Fire Department in putting out the blaze.


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9 people like this
Posted by Louise68
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 12, 2017 at 11:34 pm

Hooray for our brave firefighters! You guys and gals are real heroes! I wish you didn't have so darned much to do right now, though. Thank you for all you hard work.

5 people like this
Posted by Jennifer
a resident of Mountain View
on Sep 13, 2017 at 12:56 pm

I board my mule in that pasture and was so impressed with how quickly the firefighters were able to get the fire under control. There were still firefighters out there when I left at 8:30 PM.

I thanked as many of them as I could! You don't realize how hard they work until you see them in action.

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